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The Texas legislature has established that all riders must be able to show proof of financial responsibility at all times. The state provides that financial responsibility can be proven in several ways. The most viable for riders with fewer than 25 bikes are:
- A Texas approved motorcycle liability insurance policy.
- A surety bond filed with the county clerk a deposit of $55,000 in cash or securities with the comptroller of the county of registration.
- A deposit of $55,000 in cash or cashier’s check with the office of the judge in the county of registration.
Obviously, for most riders in the state, the easiest solution is to obtain an insurance policy.
Texas Motorcycle Insurance Law
Texas is an ”at fault” motorcycle insurance state. That means you are liable for all damages that occur as a result of an accident if you are found to be at fault. If you do not have coverage in place, you will face a license suspension, possible jail time, and can be sued for all damages. Even if you have coverage in place, but it is not sufficient to cover all damages resulting from an at fault accident, you can be sued for any remaining balances.
To help you understand Texas motorcycle insurance issues, let’s have a look at how the state defines a motorcycle for law enforcement and insurance purposes, some of the required equipment to make your bike street legal, as well as the coverage levels and types you may need to be fully protected.
To many, defining a motorcycle seems like a waste of time, but every state is required to do so for insurance purposes. According to legislators in Texas, a motorcycle is:
”A motorized vehicle with a saddle for the rider and operating on a maximum of three wheels. This does not include tractors. The vehicle must be able to travel faster than 30 MPH; and has more than 2 hp; an engine displacement more than 50 cc; and a manual transmission.”
Texas is famous for its wide open stretches of highway and stunning vistas. When you are not conquering miles of blacktop, you can find challenging rides in Austin, Dallas, or Fort Worth. Whether you are competing with congested traffic or riding in wide open country, your bike needs to be street legal at all times. In Texas, the equipment that you and your bike must have includes:
- Eye protection: not required.
- Handlebar height: maximum of 15 inches above the seat. Height is checked when bike is inspected.
- Helmet: required for all riders and passengers under the age of 21. Over age 21, riders are not required to wear a helmet with proof of successful completion of rider training or proof of medical insurance covering injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident.
- Mirrors: one required.
- Turn Signals: not required.
- Passenger Seat and Passenger Footrests: required if carrying a passenger. Passengers under age 5 must be in a sidecar.
- Headlight: required, a modulating daytime headlight is approved.
- Muffler: required. No acoustical requirements set.
- Safety Inspection: periodic inspections are required.
Texas Motorcycle Insurance Minimums
The Texas legislature has established that the minimum motorcycle insurance coverage amounts are to be:
- $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person
- $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons
- $25,000 for damage or destruction of property
The minimum coverage in Texas may seem quite adequate until you consider how much medical attention costs. An accident that results in a serious injury could quickly exceed those limits. To make matters worse, if you are at fault and your policy falls short, you will be responsible for all additional costs, potentially draining your life savings. Even if you are not at fault, but the at fault motorist is uninsured, the minimum coverages may not be sufficient.
Collision, Comprehensive, and More
The state-required liability coverage will not protect your bike itself in the event of an accident, act of God, or criminal activity. Fort that, additional coverage is needed:
Collision: This protects your bike in an accident under nearly every circumstance. It may or may not include uninsured/under-insured coverage. If it doesn’t, take care to add it.
Uninsured/Under-insured: At any given time, more than 13 percent of the motorists in Texas are uninsured, among the highest rates in the nation. With so many uninsured motorists on the roads you can understand the need for this type of coverage. The under-insured aspect of the policy protects you in case the other driver is from a state with lower minimum requirements or the injuries exceed the policy caps of an at fault motorist.
Comprehensive: This protection covers non-collision issues such as fire, wind, water, theft, and vandalism.
Bodily Injury: This protection covers certain costs if you injure or kill someone in an at-fault accident. It also protects your passenger. This type of coverage is mandated, but a higher cap may be a wise option.
Medical Payment Coverage: This helps cover healthcare costs not covered by, or in addition to, your health insurance policy. It may even cover health insurance deductibles.
Texas Motorcycle Insurance Quotes
Hoping to save some money on coverage? We can help. We work with insurers across the Longhorn State to help you compare rates and policies online, without having to spend hours on the phone or in an agency waiting room. To get started, simply enter your zip code and select the insurers that interest you. From here, you can request customized quotes based on your bike and rider information.
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